I have a 17-year-old daughter, soon to turn 18. I am a single mom. Her dad lives in another state but does back me on my decisions regarding discipline. She only sees him two or three times a year so he is not really the disciplinarian.
After a lengthy boyfriend relationship went sour (the boyfriend's decision), she became involved with a lesbian girlfriend who, at a very vulnerable point in my daughter's life, convinced her that boys are bad, they will only hurt you, etc. I've read her Scriptures stating specifically that homosexuality is a sin. She's been exposed to the church throughout her life and gave her heart to Jesus several years ago. Her "friend" is not a Christian. She's only known my daughter for just over a year, but told me she knows my daughter better than I do (LOL). The "friend" is a very manipulating and controlling girl. My daughter denied she has any feelings for this girl until the "friend" told me that my daughter needed to "quit hiding". My daughter was unaware the girl told me (just another one of her controlling and manipulating tactics). My daughter initially denied this and when I told her that the friend told me, she said I misunderstood her "friend" but later admitted she has feelings for her but would never use the word "gay", "homosexual", etc. and gets angry when I used these adjectives.
About two months ago, she and her "friend" broke up and the "friend" pursued her previous partner (who she never actually quit seeing in the first place, so I've heard). Well, that relationship did not last very long. Now the "friend" has broken up with that girl and is back in my daughter's life again. I've found over the last 2-3 weeks that my daughter is constantly lying to me about where she is and who she is with. I have lost all trust for her. She is being very two-faced now, trying to make me think she has respect for me, sitting and talking a few minutes when she gets home from work, acting as though everything is fine. Then lies to me when she walks out the door. She does not drink, smoke or do drugs (I don't think anyway), but is very defiant about coming home. Says she is a senior now, works and makes a decent amount of money for a high school student, and should be able to make all her decisions.
Up until getting involved with this girl and her friends, she was a very pleasant teenager; very smart academically and mature with her values but her "friend's" influence over her has all her previously wonderful traits suppressed now. I know deep down she knows what she is doing is wrong and I want her back from this cult-like relationship.
I've messed up in my punishments and wonder if I can help make any change in her in the three months before she turns 18 and leaves home, as she says she can't wait to get away from me. Her dad is, or was, planning to pay her way through college. I'm thinking of using the whipping or grounding choices for her, but I can't say that she has been spanked since she was a young child. I've always been able to talk and remove privileges but that does not work anymore.
Help! What am I to do?
The real problem is that you've waited until almost the end to try to do something about a serious problem. The odds are basically nil for straightening her out in any short order. She has to want to change.
I would suggest the following measures:
- Sit down and talk with her one more time. Tell her you don't approve of her friend or the life she is encouraging her to live. Homosexuality is a sin and the Bible states, "if sinners entice you, do not consent" (Proverbs 1:10). Therefore, this so-called friend is no longer welcomed at your house, nor is she to call here.
- Since you are responsible for her until she turns 18, make it very clear that if she continues to see this sinner, that she will be on her own on the day of her birthday. She better start looking for an apartment if she doesn't want to be sleeping on the streets.
- I don't know what you supply her, but assuming you supply her a car and phone, tell her that since she is being irresponsible with the things you have given her, that they are going away. She can get her own since she wants to be treated as an adult, but you are not co-signing any papers. In the meantime, she better figure out how she is getting to school and work because the car is being sold.
- Let her also know that adults handle their own financial matters. She had better be planning on how she is going to pay for college because you don't support people living in sin.
In essence, your daughter is trying to jump the gun on becoming an adult. She has no clue as to what that means, thus you are going to let the shock of full responsibility be the consequence of her disobedience. You can't force her to live righteously, but you can choose who you support. Thus between now and when she moves out, all the perks coming from you are gone and will remain gone until she leaves her sin.
If she decides to change her mind, tell her that you require evidence that she has changed. That means while living with you she lets you know where she is and who she is with. In addition, she has to leave homosexuality and her homosexual friend.
Deliver all of this in a calm, matter-of-fact tone. No yelling, no screaming, no fits of rage. You've made up your mind about what you are going to do with your things. She has made her choice. You don't agree with that choice, so she has to figure out what to do. Keep everything as her choice and that she is now responsible for the results of her choices.